What keeps edtech leaders up at night?

How is your district to-do list looking? If the results from today’s release of the 2023 State Ed Tech Trends Report are any indication, it’s long and complicated. I had the chance for a sneak peek and some background insight with Julia Fallon, Executive Director of SETDA (The State Educational Technology Directors Association), to discuss key findings of the survey data. Click through for a listen and scroll down for some highlights and takeaways.

Among the key findings in the report and survey:

  • Cybersecurity Tops the List: The report underscores that “cybersecurity” is now the paramount concern in K-12 education–an increase in priority since 2022. However, a staggering 42% of respondents reported inadequate funding and support for cybersecurity needs, signaling a critical gap. 
  • Federal and State AI Policy Lags: While 55% of respondents observed an increased interest in AI policy development, only 2% reported having active AI initiatives in their states. The report highlights the urgent need for comprehensive AI strategies at the federal and state level.
  • Home Access Demands Attention: “Home access connectivity” jumped to the top of the list of top unmet technology needs across the country, with nearly one-third of respondents listing it as their primary concern. This emphasizes the digital divide’s persistent impact on education.
  • On-going Focus on EdTech Effectiveness: The number of states collecting data on the effectiveness of their edtech tools also increased according to respondents, and using edtech effectively to support instruction remains a top priority for state leaders. 

Some more highlights:…Read More

SETDA Names Dr. Karen Richardson the Recipient of the 2021 Candice Dodson Influencer Award

June 17, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) announced that Dr. Karen Richardson, Executive Director, Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) was selected as the recipient of the inaugural Candice Dodson Influencer Award (CDIA). The recipient of the Candice Dodson Influencer Award was selected through a competitive application process and was presented to Dr. Richardson during the 2021 SETDA Emerging Trends Forum on June 15, 2021.

The aim of the Candice Dodson Influencer Award is to commemorate the values, professional influence and personal contributions to the field of educational technology that Dodson championed every day, and to recognize similar qualities in EdTech leaders who can carry on this important work in the future.

Dodson was the Executive Director of SETDA from May, 2019 until her sudden passing on July 22, 2020. The award will be funded annually through donations to the Candice Dodson Memorial Fund and sponsorships.…Read More

States assess their readiness for digital learning

Statewide ed-tech inventories are helping state leaders assess their digital learning needs

When Ray Timothy, executive director of the Utah Education and Telehealth Network, saw the results of a new statewide inventory of technology deployed across all 989 Utah public schools, one figure jumped out at him in particular.

It was the 100-percent response rate from the survey.

“We knew most districts and schools would respond, but a 100-percent response rate shows that technology is a high priority for education leaders throughout the state,” he said.…Read More

SETDA issues guidance to help schools prepare for online testing

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has released new guidance to help policy makers and district leaders determine their ed-tech needs and readiness for implementing the Common Core State Standards and the online testing that will accompany these.

As schools implement the new standards, two multi-state consortia—the Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium—are developing next-generation assessment systems aligned with the Common Core. Schools in participating states can expect to administer these new tests beginning in the 2014-15 school year. One important feature shared by both the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessment systems is that the tests will be technology-delivered.

At least 33 states currently administer one or more state tests online; however, for many schools and districts, the shift to computer-based assessment will be new.…Read More

State leaders: Here’s how we’re going digital

In Iowa, eFlex Days allow students to learn from home or community centers about once every month.

There’s been much recent talk about schools going all-digital–from Arne Duncan’s call to action to the backlash from educators–but implementing digital resources is no easy task. During a recent stakeholder forum, however, leaders and experts came together to address how to make this shift into a reality.

The forum, Advancing Education in the Digital Age, was part of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) 2012 Leadership Summit and highlighted SETDA’s recent report on the shift to digital instruction.…Read More

SETDA urges shift to digital instruction

The report acknowledges that policy changes regarding instructional materials are not enough to ensure that digital content is used in classrooms effectively.

Everyone remembers lugging a 20-pound textbook. But should today’s students still have to consult hefty—and often outdated—printed texts? And should states and districts still pay for resources that few students now find relevant?

A new report says “no”—and it urges states and districts to stop delaying the inevitable shift from print to digital instruction. It also provides examples of how some states are making this shift and overcoming the hurdles this involves.…Read More

Report calls for more broadband access in schools

SETDA recommends that schools provide 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff by the 2014-15 school year, and provide 1 Gbps per 1,000 students/staff by the 2017-18 school year.

School districts should provide a minimum of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) of bandwidth for every 1,000 students and staff members within the next two years, and federal lawmakers should provide more funding to help make this happen, according to a report released May 21 by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).

The report, “The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Education Infrastructure Needs,” explains how the ongoing shift to technology-rich learning has sparked rapid growth in the nation’s educational broadband needs.…Read More

Stakeholders fight for ed-tech funds

Education leaders worry that programs like Alabama's ACCESS Distance Learning will struggle without federal funding from EETT.
Education leaders worry that programs like Alabama's ACCESS Distance Learning will struggle without federal funding from EETT.

Computer-based testing, online high school courses, instructional data systems, and a dropout reengagement program that uses a blended model of instruction are just some of the uses of federal education technology funding that are occurring in states, a group of state leaders told Congress in lobbying for further ed-tech support.

Education leaders gathered on Capitol Hill May 17 to share stories about successful federally funded programs in an effort to urge lawmakers to continue to fund the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program in FY2011.…Read More